2023 election: INEC to end voter registration July 31, extends for two weeks
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it will end Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) for the 2023 election on July 31.
INEC national commissioner Festus Okoye in a statement said the commission’s extension of voter registration to mid-July has been extended till the end of July for all voter registration in the country.
Okoye explained that INEC “met in an extraordinary session today, Friday 15th July 2022, and discussed among other things, the suspension of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
“This followed the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court on Wednesday 13th July 2022 in which it dismissed the suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which is seeking an extension of the exercise beyond 30th June 2022.
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“The Court has affirmed that INEC is at liberty to appoint a date of its choice to suspend the CVR, provided it is not later than 90 days before the date fixed for the General Election as provided in Sec. 9(6) of the Electoral Act 2022.”
Okoye said INEC complied with the interim injunction of the Court pending the determination of the substantive suit to enable more Nigerians to register for voters cards beyond 30th June 2022.
“For this reason, the CVR has already been extended beyond 30th June 2022 for a period of 15 days,” Okoye said.
“With the judgement of the Federal High Court, all legal encumbrances have now been removed. Accordingly, the Commission has taken the following decisions:
“The CVR is hereby extended for another two weeks until Sunday 31st July 2022, thereby bringing the total duration of the extension to 31 days (1st – 31st July 2022).
“The exercise has also been extended to eight hours daily from 9.00am – 5.00pm instead of the current duration of six hours (9.00am – 3.00pm) daily;
“The exercise is also extended to include weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) as against only weekdays.”
Okoye explained there is a lot that the Commission is required to do under the electoral legal framework in relation to voter registration and compilation of the register that will require time to accomplish.
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This includes; “clean-up of the register to remove multiple registrants using the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS);
“Consolidate the national register of voters (existing voters and new registrants) and display same on Polling Unit basis for each of the 8,809 Registration Areas (Wards) across the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide for public scrutiny. This lasts for a period of one week. On the basis of a new projection of 95 million voters, on the basis of 10 voters per page, the Commission has to print 9,500,000 pages for the display;
“Print millions of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all fresh registrants and applicants for transfer and replacement of lost or damaged PVCs;
“Ensure that there is ample time for voters to collect their PVCs ahead of the 2023 General Election;
“Print the final register of voters in triplicate for the 2023 General Election involving a projected 28,500,000 pages for accreditation and display at 176,846 polling units for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) on 25th February 2023 and State elections (Governorship and State Assembly) on 11th March 2023; and
“Make copies of the updated national register of voters available to political parties not later than 30 days to the date fixed for the General Election.”
The INEC commissioner appealed “for the patience and understanding of all Nigerians as we conclude the exercise which will resume after the 2023 General Election.”